One city, one lens. Travelling with the Sony 20mm f/2.8

Since Mark tripped over some wires and left the whole world without Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, the idea of having your own place to post photos isn’t too bad. That’s why this article is all about my very recent Rome trip and the only lens I used in the photos you’re about to see.

I’m not going to waste your time with too many words. This little combo is great for street shooting. It weighs under 500 grams and if you put it in Aperture Priority Mode at f/8, all you have to worry about is composition.

I’ll add a description for each photo. Enjoy!

Chiesa di San Paolo entro le Mura.
Via Nazionale
A shop on Via Nazionale
Galleria Alberto Sordi
The Roman Pantheon
Sant’Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona
Sant’Agnese in Agone detail, Piazza Navona
Small, but loud
Piazza della Repubblica
Tempietto di Diana
Villa Borghese park
Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti
Chiesa di Santa Maria in Portico in Campitelli
Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
Otello’s Carbonara
The Vatican Museum. This is where the lens struggled a bit, pushing the ISO up to 6400.
The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museum
Scala Momo, The Vatican Museum
Porta Portese Flea Market
Via del Governo Vecchio
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona
Fontana di Trevi. 9 photo, 100 megapixel panorama, merged in Lightroom. You can see a bigger version here.
Piazza della Repubblica

My findings about the lens

  • Sharpness is not something to write about. As far as I know, most pancake lenses have this trait;
  • CA (Chromatic Aberration) and LoCA (Longitudinal Chromatic Aberration) are well controlled. I noticed them, but it’s nothing I can’t fix in Lightroom;
  • Flaring can be an issue. I didn’t have the lens hood with me, as it doubles the length of the lens;
  • Autofocus is ok;
  • It’s light, compact and the focus ring turns smoothly.

Final words

I didn’t buy the Sony E 20mm f/2.8 expecting to get stellar image quality. What I wanted was the street shooting experience so many Sony users wish for. And that’s what I got.

Comments (2):

  1. Evan

    September 10, 2023 at 7:38 am

    Beautiful work! I love the perspective of all the photos! Quick question, Do you prefer the Fuji x100v or this Sony a6X00+20mm combo? Thank you!

    • Dan Pandrea

      September 10, 2023 at 10:58 pm

      I wish I had the X100v so I could answer your question. However I do own the first generation Fuji X100 and find myself choosing it over the a6300 + 20mm combo whenever I know I can take my time. The Fuji is quite slow by today’s standards, but the user experience makes up for it. Image quality is decent and 12 megapixels are more than enough for online sharing.

      The Sony is better if I’m on a hurry. I know I can rely on good autofocus, the 24-megapixel sensor produces good details and I can wirelessly send photos to my phone and charge the camera with an USB cable (things the X100v can also do).

      Thanks for the comment!


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